Photo Essay: When People Must Make Way for Nature

by |July 17, 2017

The forested Kanha Tiger Reserve, in the highlands of central India, is home to an abundance of rare wildlife. It also used to be home to thousands of people—that is, until they were moved out by the government to make way for endangered creatures. Much research has assessed the outcomes for wildlife; almost none has looked into what happens to the people. Researchers affiliated with Columbia University’s Earth Institute are bringing data this question by studying hundreds of recently resettled families now living near the reserve. All photos: Kevin Krajick  CLICK TO READ THE FULL STORY or SEE A VIDEO

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Dussri Bai (right) and her daughter Susheela Bai were moved out in the 1970s. They and neighbors were resettled en masse from the namesake village of Kanha to the newly created village of Botalbehra, just outside the park. Their families once relied on hunting and gathering; many now work in tourism. “Even girls can do everything now,” said Dussri. “They can leave and go to the city if they want!”

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